News, Events and Culture

Palmerston North backs Renewed River Action Plan

Friday March 11 2016

Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says his Council is proud to endorse the renewed action plan for the Manawatū River and has a programme of work to back that commitment.

River leaders

Six years ago, Palmerston North City Council signed the original Manawatū River Leaders Accord and participated in an Action Plan the following year aimed at improving the state of the Manawatū River and Catchment.

Mayor Smith says the celebrations being held to mark the renewal of the River Action Plan for 2016-21 are a chance to reflect on what the 34 signatories to the accord have already achieved. The leaders group is made up of Iwi, central and local government, Massey University as well as industry and advocacy groups.

"The number of projects either completed, underway or in their planning stages is impressive. Everyone has stepped up to the mark and encouraged each other."

Mayor Smith says Palmerston North has also stepped up to the mark.

He says Palmerston North has committed to applying for its new wastewater treatment plant consent six years earlier than the current expiry date of 2028.

"We are undertaking a review of the best option of either land based or river disposal or a mixture of both.  We'll be seeking the views of the community before any decision is made.  We want to improve the River's health in a way that is also sustainable for ratepayers." 

The Council is also creating a stormwater wetland in Norton Park by the end of June and plans to install more pollution traps to minimise stormwater run-off into the Manawatū River.

"We are also working to make the public more aware of the impact of stormwater and wastewater on the River."

The Council's Green Corridors Project has continued for the past fifteen years. A total of 140,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted along the Manawatū River and its tributaries.

Mayor Smith says Palmerston North is also backing key projects designed to encourage people to spend more time enjoying the River and surrounding countryside.

The Manawatū River Park will become the City's largest recreational area stretching from the Manawatū Gorge to Longburn with shared pathways running its length.

"The Park will become a destination for residents and visitors alike to walk cycle or spend time with family and friends. As well as being an integral part of the City's commuter network."

Next month, the first stage of the He Ara Kotahi shared pathway will commence which will eventually link the City with Massey University and Linton Military Camp.

"We need to celebrate our River and be proud of our efforts and achievements," Mayor Smith says.